It’s officially summer

I haven’t blogged in over a month – shocking? Not really. I’m the queen of procrastination when I’m in between travels but then, I have been busy this time. Not really trumping around the woods near Kilimanjaro, but just as exhausting and thrilling.

I was asked to facilitate a summer camp for 10-14 days for 40-50 teens, some of who were first generation learners in their communities, their parents having never been to school. More than that, they had just finished writing the big 10th Standard exam which has been a rarity in the villages from where they were coming. A few years ago, we had just 5-10. The numbers itself show that somehow, something good is being done.

It was the first time the children were getting out of their villages and experiencing this kind of freedom. They didn’t have to study Algebra and Math anymore. They could sleep in. The “lessons” were all activity based so they never had to take notes or try to take a nap subtly behind two other students which meant that apart from all the drama that comes when you put 40 teenagers in a room, there was a LOT of energy and fun to be had. I was given creative liberty so in typical fashion, I really went for it.

The activity was for the kids to draw how they saw themselves - things they loved, hated, what they identified with. Then we made a gallery to show them they're not as alone as they think they are.
The groups were given an egg which would be dropped from the highest terrace. This had the most innovative packaging
Making the longest line possible with the things they had on them at that moment
We opened a study centre in one of the villages. This is the village band celebrating
To celebrate, we treated everyone to ice-candy (for dessert)
The ice-candy man had a busy day
Back at the camp, an evening game of Kabbadi
Group Discussions under my favourite tree

Clay Modelling Day
Love how they used leaves for the keypad
Clay Modelling slowly turned into Zombie wars.
The boys making a vow in front of the girls that they will not take a Dowry.
The highlight of living in a village? Views like these.

What did I learn? That I’m more confused than ever. I love working with children and youth as much as I love writing. So instead of my life being a series of “Harry Potter > Hunger Games > Twilight” sort of equations, it’s “Travel = Writing = Art = Training = Social Work = Family = Mangoes”

Is this the balance they talk about in old Kung Fu movies? Needless to say, I’m in my happy place – instead of me whining about how restless I am to my friends, I get to listen to their problems in a Zen like fashion. It’s also a great opportunity pretend to be this wise old turtle

or this tea-brewing uncle

Or just call them “young grasshopper” . Oh yeah, I live for the cheap thrills

7 Comments Add yours

  1. Addie says:

    I enjoyed all pics! I was a rural girl and I miss the old life. Seeing the pics made me go on a trip down memory lane. Welcome back to blogging, dear.


    1. cupitonians says:

      Nothing like the old country – just the peace of not even being in network coverage area. I’m sure you know what you mean. Thank you so much, Addie. It’s good to be back.


  2. Sangitha says:

    Innnnnerrrrr peaaaaace. The camp sounds and look awesome.

    We have to meet up.


    1. cupitonians says:

      I knew you’d get the reference! 🙂 When do we meet? Sonali’s in town as well. And Rakesh


  3. Wilhelmina Upton says:

    Guess what?! I nominated you again, just because I’m mad with power and love your writing so here it comes, the Beautiful Blogger Award


  4. Back to your blog after ages. 🙂

    Lovely, lovely pics. The camp looks like so much fun! And awwww at the promise not to take dowry. So hope everyone keeps their promise!


    1. cupitonians says:

      Aww thank you. I hope so too. They’re still first generation school go-ers so might take time but I’d like to be optimistic.


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